Route: Pocahontas State Park

Submitted by Becca Moore on Sat, 08/06/2022 - 12:54pm
Location
Virginia, US
Distance
13.09 mi
Description

Pocahontas State Park is located in Chesterfield, VA.  It is a beautiful and well kept park accessible to runners, hikers, bikers, and horses.  Pocahontas is one of, if not the best, locations for trail running in the Richmond area.  I have been running here for over a decade when in Richmond and was surprised to see that a park of this popularity does not have an FKT.  This route covers 13.09 miles of multi-use trails throughout the park.  There are many more miles of trails for mountain biking and horseback riding.  The mountain bike trails can be dangerous for runners and the horse trails on the east side of the park require crossing a river that can often be unsafe.  This was the route I thought covered different areas of the park while also the safest option.  Bikes and horses are allowed on a majority of this course.  However, the trails are wider and known for multi-use.

The course starts near the Park Office and Souvenir Shop.  This can be accessed from Beach Road and turning into the park on State Park Road.  There is a fee to enter the park  It is $10 for a day pass or $85 for an annual Virginia State Park pass. Once you go through the gate to pay, there is a small parking lot on the right.  Park here.  It is a small lot with wood for campers, a porta potty, and large trail map.  Once parked, look across the road you came in on.  You will see a wide trail.  There is a trail marker right by the road.  This is the start and end point for the FKT. 

From this trail marker, the course starts by turning left on Parallel Trail.  Continue on Parallel Trail until you reach Fendley Station trail where you will take a right.  Please note that Fendley Station is a trail used by horses, bikes, and runners.  You will then turn right on Wilkinson Forest Trail which will then lead you back to Fendley Station trail by taking another right.  Next take a left on Old Mill Trail.  You will follow signs for Old Mill Trail eventually taking 3 more right turns and going past the Morgan MTB system.  The Old Mill Trail will lead you to the visitor center.  It was 90 degrees the day I made this route and I stopped to refill my bottle in the visitor center.  If you don't need to do this (they have very cold water if you do) continue past the visitor center.  

Once past the visitor center, you will go up the road just a little bit then turn left back on the Fendley State trail for a very short time.  This will drop you off in a parking lot which you will need to run through towards the water park and boat area.  You will go down a short but steep hill and on your left will see a bridge over the river.  Go over the bridge and turn left on the Forest Exploration Trail.  After on the Forest Exploration Trail for a short time, be careful crossing the Blueberry Bike Trail and Hawkins Trail.  Stay on the Forest Exploration Trail until turning right on the Hawkins Forest Trail.  Note you cross this trail earlier right after crossing the Blueberry Trail.  Don't turn right then.  Stay on the Forest Exploration Trail until the second time you reach the Hawkins Forest Trail.  Continue on the Hawkins Forest Trail then turn left on the Forest Exploration Trail again.  You will follow this around for a short time.  The trail will lead you back to the Hawkins Forest Trail, where you will take a left, then another left back to the bridge to cross over the river.  From here you will follow the same route through the parking lot back to the visitors center.  I, again, had to stop at the visitors center for water.  If you do not, you will turn left towards the CCC Museum.  The trailhead for the Beaver Lake Trail will be to the right of the CCC Museum.

The Beaver Lake Trail is 2.5 miles of nice single track around the lake.  Watch for signs and follow the blue blazes to stay on the Beaver Lake Trail.  After 2.5 miles, the trail will end close to the road and you will be back on the Old Mill Trail.  Take a right on the Old Mill Trail.  You will eventually come to a T where you will take a left still on the Old Mill Trail.  You have been here before on the way out.  After a short time, you will back a left at the bottom of a steep hill heading back to the Park Office.  Continue on this trail until you get back to the original trail marker where you started.  Your car should be parked across the street.

Enjoy!